Using IT to Reach the Next Level

Unless you’re a fan of the latest technology, the idea of incorporating new systems, software and devices into your business can be a scary prospect. You’ve built the company using tried and tested processes, materials and machines but now the time has come where you’re faced with the choice of sticking to what you already know and understand (however dated that might be), or taking the plunge and investing in the latest technological innovations to potentially help you become more efficient and keep your business moving forward.

It’s completely understandable to be skeptical over the risks associated with upgrading your systems and spending a lot of your hard-earned cash on investments that you may not fully understand. Not to mention the fact that they could have negative effects on your business in the short term as it’s likely productivity will slow while employees get to grips with the new systems and processes. But don’t fret, there are numerous advantages to the installation of more modern devices, programs such as shift scheduling software and going ‘mobile’ can reap big rewards.

While it is true that productivity might take a slight dip during the transitional period from the current systems and devices to the new ones, it will have its own long-term benefits. Modern technology is significantly faster, packed full of more useful hardware and they are much more user-friendly once you get to grips with it meaning your employees will be much better equipped to perform the tasks required and in theory, complete them to a higher standard.

New platforms have presented exciting opportunities to share and save files and documents instantaneously when older methods might have taken hours or even days. This in itself can save the company serious amounts of time and money allowing you to focus on other, more profitable tasks and ultimately increase productivity. Take online file sharing as an example of collaboration software –individuals working on a particular project outside an office, such as on a building site, might need to get each stage of the process signed off by people at head office. A paper-based version of this method might involve using the postal system or someone having to leave the site to hand deliver the paperwork, costing the project time and manpower. Using online file sharing, however, means that you can now upload the document, download it from another location, read and edit it before starting the process again so that both (or several) locations are clear and up-to-date, limiting any downtime or confusion due to lack of information.

This software also allows for more opportunities to get in contact with your employees, customers and clients wherever they might be in the world, at any time of the day. It’s likely you only had two options previously – telephone or in person – whereas those in the modern business world are able to utilise video conferencing software such as Skype, instant messengers and, of course, email. Businesses involved in haulage can even track their vehicles in real time using GPS tracking data enabling them to foresee traffic jams, manage fuel economy and keep track of idol drivers. The possibilities are endless!

Inevitably, the more advanced the equipment you have and the better your staff become at exploiting it, the better the overall experience will become for your customers. If you can ‘wow’ them with what you can produce, reaching a new level in terms of quality and productivity, then you’re likely to receive more repeat orders and future-proof your business.